In defense of chest hair and armpit hair — and yes, even back hair

Children in Need 2007 - STFC Players Leg Waxing

-Children in Need 2007 - STFC Players Leg Waxing

Absolutely criminal.

Open Salon blogger Beth Mann notes that “It all went downhill when,” among other things, “men started shaving their chests.”

Yup. As a bearish gay guy myself, I’ve long been an opponent of the artificially smooth man.

If a man is naturally not very hairy, fine. One of the first guys I ever fell for, a blond, naturally had very little body hair. But if a man is hairy, he should remain in all of his hairy glory.

Nothing below my neckline gets shaved or even trimmed.

Love me, love my back hair. That’s my motto.

Gay porn in the 1970s and 1980s was hot because the guys were left natural. If they were hairless, they were hairless, if they were hairy, they were left hairy. They didn’t have to be caricaturishly buff, either.

It was in the 1990s that the hairless, buff look became the gold standard for gay porn, and then this look, like a virus, spread into the larger American culture, apparently first from homosexual men to “metrosexual” men to now, tragically, even heterosexual men.

My boyfriend and I were shopping recently when this tall, buff, tattooed, quite possibly heterosexual guy was in front of us in line for the cashier. He was wearing a tank top in December in order to show the world his muscles and his tats, apparently. (It really was the shortest line, which is why I picked it, but of course I got shit from the boyfriend anyway.)

Anyway, the buff and tatted guy in the tank top lifted his arm and I saw, to my horror, that his armpit was completely hair-free.

That is So! Wrong!

A guy should have armpit hair.

That should be the Eleventh Commandment.

I can compromise. If a guy wants to trim his ’pit hair a little, OK, fine, but to delete it altogether? No. There should be a law against it.

Chest hair, too, should be protected.

If you see a shirtless guy without even at least some hair around his nips, then he very mostly likely waxes or shaves — and he sucks.

I’m not even willing to declare war on back hair, of which I have a moderate amount myself.

Why?

Because I believe that it is important for us to (learn to) love our bodies — and others’ bodies — the way that they are.

Take a look at who, exactly, benefits from us hating our own bodies and from being judgmental about others’ allegedly imperfect bodies: the corporations and other weasels who profit from things like all of the bogus weight-loss programs and products and waxing and other hair removal procedures and hair coloring (in which I include Grecian Formula for Men, a drop of which will never touch me) and plastic surgery and even anal bleaching and colored contacts and muscle-building protein powders that you don’t need because you can get enough protein from food, etc., etc., etc.

This shit doesn’t benefit us, though. It just makes us poorer and more neurotic and more shallow, while those who induce us to hate our own bodies and to be critical of others’ bodies laugh all the way to the bank.

Beth Mann posits that the reason for the War on Men’s Body Hair is that “We’re desperately trying to escape the fact that we are, in essence, hairy beasts. Or we’re trying to become babies again. Our constant pursuit of youth (which hairlessness signifies, I guess) affects men as well as women.”

True, there are some who seem to view body hair as “dirty” and/or bestial. I guess that the Nazis’ vision of the body-hairless blond is the bodily ideal for these fucktarded bigots.

I say: Embrace our animality, don’t deny or disown it, because if we do delude ourselves into believing that we have banished our animalistic ways, our animalistic ways will just come out in sick and twisted forms from their repression. Look at the Nazis, who believed themselves far above not only the animals but also far above the rest of the human race — their animal violence sure came out nonetheless, and even while U.S. “President” George W. Bush was blathering about “evildoers” and those from “uncivilized” parts of the world, our own government was perpetrating the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors on those “dirty” (and, I will add, naturally hairy) Arabs.

And yes, some men rid themselves of body hair in order to look younger, I suppose, but mostly, it seems to me, these hairless fucktards are only following the pack, and the buff, hairless look has been in vogue for some time now.

If the Sasquatch look were in, these pack-followers would look like Sasquatch (or feel woefully inadequate about their hairlessness and maybe even try methods to increase their hairiness). They are obedient sheeple because they believe that to follow others is the way to fit in and to belong and to be loved.

They usually are quite disappointed to find, however, that things like Grecian Formula for Men and waxing and colored contacts and less body fat and more muscle mass don’t suddenly bring them all of that love and happiness that they wanted it to. 

Finally, Mann also notes that “It all went downhill when … antibacterial products became commonplace.”

The idea of uber-sterile cleanliness has become an obsession because we’re control freaks and spend too much time indoors. And women need to be fucked better overall,” she concludes.

Yup. The obession with cleanliness goes hand-in-hand with the obsession with hairlessness and the obession with bodily odorlessness.

We Americans, probably especially white Americans, don’t trust our natural environment (including our own fucking bodies) and we always are at war with it. Nature is, after all, “dirty.”

And, of course, the corporate weasels profit obscenely from making us believe that we’re just one germ away from dying a horrible death from communicable disease, as they profit from our horror of smelling like human beings instead of emanating some artificial scent.

And we all need to be better fucked — in our natural hairiness. (Yes, I believe that women, too, shouldn’t have to be bothered with body-hair removal.) 

Our motto for 2010 should be: Back to Nature. She got it right, and by fucking with her work, we’ve only fucked it all up for ourselves.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “In defense of chest hair and armpit hair — and yes, even back hair

  1. I so agree. My husband is plush (including back, shoulders, etc.), and I love it. They don’t call it “petting” for nothing.

    • robertdcrook

      My boyfriend has called me his “furry” (“furrie”?) but now that you use the word “plush,” I’m thinking that I want to be referred to as a “plushie”… ;)

      • :)

        Especially since “furry” carries another connotation these days, I think.

        My son has clearly inherited his dad’s hirsute genetics (I’m not exactly hairless, myself, and I grow all of mine out in the winter), and I told him this morning that he is NEVER going to shave. He’s fine with that. What a giant hassle. While we were living in the deep south my husband tried it (partly thinking he might try showing as a body builder, but also to combat the heat), and not only did it consume time, water, and a ton of shaving cream, but he was covered in stubble within an hour. Ouch.

      • robertdcrook

        Yup.

        My personal rule is that nothing below my neckline gets shaved or even trimmed. (I understand that some guys have straight chest hair, however, that grows quite long if they don’t trim it. Mine’s curly, so I don’t have to worry about that [TMI?]).

  2. LOL. No, not TMI. I’ve long thought that our American aversion to the body is a huge pathology.

  3. Supercanchero

    I totally agree with what you say. Although I do trim my chest and pit hair every now and then cause it grows straight and I do think it looks better trimmed, I’ve never appreciated the artificially smooth look on a guy. It’s like butchery to me since body hair, and specially a furry chest, can be so naturally sexy.

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